Capcom’s original vision for Resident Evil 7 was vastly different to the final product, according to its executive producer Jun Takeuchi. Takeuchi says Capcom wanted Resident Evil 7 to be a live-service game that contained an online multiplayer mode and microtransactions, as the company believed that fans were demanding that the series should adapt to the trends of the time.
“Right around that time there was a big push at Capcom, a big marketing push, saying ‘we have to make the games players are asking for’,” Jun Takeuchi explained to Resident Evil 4 director Shinji Mikami on the official Resident Evil YouTube channel (via VGC). “So we were being told ‘make this, make that’, it was really hard on the directors at the time.”
Capcom began to instruct the development team to make Resident Evil 7 tick all the boxes for a live-service game, but this had a negative impact on the production of the game. Takeuchi said that he was called in by Capcom president Kenzo Tsujimoto to help whip the game back into shape, and that was when he insisted that Resident Evil 7 needed to be a “regular old single-player horror game” as the multiplayer focus threatened to derail the entire project.
Resident Evil 7 was seen as a turning point for the franchise and Capcom, as it earned critical acclaim and was a best-seller for the company. As of October 2021, more than 10 million copies have been shipped and the game has had a healthy shelf-life since it launched in 2017.
Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 remakes were also well-received when they launched and Resident Evil Village was another blockbuster hit for Capcom, shipping over 5 million copies more quickly than Resident Evil 7 did.
Fans of the series can also look forward to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions later this year for Resident Evil 2, 3, and 7, and anyone who already owns those games will get the upgrades for free.